Cover Image
close this bookHandbook for Emergencies - Second Edition (UNHCR, 1999, 414 p.)
View the document(introduction...)
View the documentUsing the Handbook
View the documentIntroduction
View the documentAbbreviations
View the documentUNHCR's Mission Statement
close this folder1. Aim and Principles of Response
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View the documentDefinition and Aim
View the documentResponsibilities
View the documentPrinciples of Response
close this folder2. Protection
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View the documentIntroduction
View the documentProtection in Emergencies
View the documentInitial Actions
View the documentPhysical Safety of Refugees
View the documentEmergencies as a Result of Changes in Government Policy
View the documentOther Persons of Concern to UNHCR
View the documentDurable Solutions
View the documentKey References
View the documentAnnexes
close this folder3. Emergency Management
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View the documentIntroduction
View the documentThe Key Emergency Management Functions
View the documentStages in Refugee Emergency Operations
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close this folder4. Contingency Planning
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View the documentPlanning as a Process
View the documentContingency Planning Tasks
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close this folder5. Initial Assessment, Immediate Response
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View the documentOrganizing the Assessment
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close this folder6. Operations Planning
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close this folder7. Coordination and Site Level Organization
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close this folder8. Implementing Arrangements
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View the documentImplementing Arrangements
View the documentImplementing Procedures
View the documentMonitoring, Reporting and Evaluation
View the documentSpecial Considerations
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close this folder9. External Relations
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View the documentRelations with Government and Diplomatic Corps
View the documentRelations with the Media
View the documentFunding and Donor Relations
View the documentFormal Written Communications
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close this folder10. Community Services and Education
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View the documentOrganizing Community Services
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View the documentFamily Tracing and Reunification
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close this folder11. Population Estimation and Registration
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close this folder12. Site Selection, Planning and Shelter
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View the documentOrganization of Response
View the documentCriteria for Site Selection
View the documentSite Planning: General Considerations
View the documentSite Planning: Specific Infrastructure
View the documentShelter
View the documentReception and Transit Camps
View the documentPublic Buildings and Communal Facilities
close this folder13. Commodity Distribution
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View the documentChoosing a Commodity Distribution System
View the documentComponents of Distribution Systems
View the documentThe Role of Refugee Women
View the documentMonitoring
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close this folder14. Health
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View the documentHealth Assessment, Planning, Monitoring and Surveillance
View the documentMain Health Programmes
View the documentOrganization of Refugee Health Care
View the documentHuman Resources and Coordination
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close this folder15. Food and Nutrition
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View the documentOrganization of Food Support
View the documentNutritional Assessments
View the documentGeneral Feeding Programme
View the documentSelective Feeding Programmes
View the documentInfant Feeding and use of Milk Products
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close this folder16. Water
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View the documentAssessment and Organization
View the documentThe Need
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View the documentWater Supply Systems
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close this folder17. Environmental Sanitation
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View the documentBasic Principles And Standards
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View the documentGeneral Hygiene
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close this folder18. Supplies and Transport
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close this folder19. Voluntary Repatriation
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View the documentUNHCR's Role in Voluntary Repatriation
View the documentConditions For a Voluntary Repatriation
View the documentOn Route
View the documentOn Arrival in Country of Origin
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close this folder20. Administration, Staffing and Finance
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View the documentNon-Expendable Property and Office Supplies
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close this folder21. Communications
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close this folder22. Coping with Stress
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close this folder23. Staff Safety
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View the documentThe UN Security System
View the documentEssential Plans
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close this folder24. Working with the Military
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View the documentCategories of Military Forces
View the documentPossible Roles of Military Forces in Humanitarian Operations
View the documentCoordination Between Military Forces and Civilian Agencies
View the documentKey References
View the documentAppendix 1 - Catalogue of Emergency Response Resources
View the documentAppendix 2 - Toolbox
View the documentAppendix 3 - Memoranda
View the documentAppendix 4 - Glossary

Annexes

Annex 1 - Sample Voluntary Repatriation Form

An example of the type of form that might be used for a large-scale repatriation is given below. Where FBARS is used, it produces a pre-completed form with information taken during registration, which will then only need the signature. This form can be modified to suit the requirements of the operation.

Notes for those drawing up the form

1. Agree the information required with the authorities. All of the items in the example below may not be necessary.

2. Agree who needs to complete a separate form. The example is designed to be completed by each person over 18 years old and unaccompanied children, but it may be sufficient to have the head of the family group complete one form for all accompanying dependents.

3. Agree on the number of copies and language(s): normally original plus three copies with the following distribution: original - authorities; UNHCR in country of asylum; copy 1 - applicant; copies 2 and 3 -for travel and arrival formalities.

4. If at all possible, print the forms in sets on 'pre-carboned' paper.

5. Draw up simple completion instructions.


Figure

I, the undersigned principle applicant, declare that I (and my dependents) after due consideration wish to be repatriated to ____________________

Applicant:

Date:

Witness:

Annex 2 - Types of Transport

General Considerations

Below are some advantages and disadvantages of the common means of transport. Whichever form of transport is used, the plan should also take into consideration:

1. Food, accommodation and minimum emergency health care during the journey. Where distances are short, it is recommended that only material assistance needed for the duration of the journey, plus, if essential, for the first few days after arrival, be distributed prior to departure. This will help reduce any incentive to "repatriate" several times;

2. Capacity to move all reasonable private possessions of the refugees, if at all possible at the same time as their owners. Remember that what refugees carry with them on return will be used to ensure more successful reinstallation and move more quickly towards self-sufficiency (i.e., roofing material, livestock, etc.);

3. Appropriate security and the maintenance of public order during all stages of the journey;

4. Arrangements for the safe transfer of the required documentation, passenger lists, registration forms, etc., and for keeping statistical records of the progress of the operation;

5. Escort or monitoring of the actual repatriation by or on behalf of UNHCR. At least for the first movements, a UNHCR staff member should accompany the returnees. Ensure voluntariness even during the movement stage.

ADVANTAGES

DISADVANTAGES

FOOT

(i) Spontaneous and self-organized

(i) Returnees can take little household effects

(ii) No logistical requirements necessary

(ii) Requires first aid medical stations, provision of potable water and food along route

(iii) Special assistance required for vulnerable groups (children, elderly, disabled)

(iv) Increased security risk. Risk of separation of families

TRUCK

(i) Can be used on most roads

(i) Open to elements

(ii) Usually available

(ii) Danger to passengers

(iii) Plenty of space for luggage

(iii) Uncomfortable

BUS

(i) Greater passenger capacity in safety

(i) Limited luggage space except on roof

(ii) Faster than truck if roads allow

(ii) Slower unloading and loading (e.g. at border and road checks

(iii) More comfortable

Notes for truck and bus

1. Assuming both bus and truck are available, the deciding factor may well be journey distance. If road conditions allow, a bus is usually preferred for longer journeys. Check with the refugees if a truck is acceptable, consider how small children would fare, what passengers would hold on to and how luggage will be secured. Some form of sun shade or other protection may be necessary.

2. For both truck and bus, the following facilities will be needed:

-vehicle fuel;

- food and water for repatriates during journey;

- emergency health care;

- breakdown or recovery service;

- vehicle insurance for the country of destination.

3. For any movement by road, try to avoid having to change vehicles at the frontier. While it is generally easier to use vehicles from the country of asylum, consider if having those from the country of origin coming to fetch repatriates has advantages. Ensure that drivers do not work excessive hours and that they have immigration and other clearances through to the destination.

4. It may be difficult to keep trucks together in tightly grouped convoys, and this is often impracticable on dusty roads in any event. However, there must be one person clearly identified as responsible for each group of vehicles. Seek local advice on how to marshal and control the vehicles. Prearranged stopping points where all vehicles regroup, with the person in charge in the last vehicle is one solution. Make sure all drivers are aware of breakdown or accident procedures.

TRAIN

Advantages

Disadvantages

(i) Easy overall control including border crossing

(i) Much less flexible: secondary transport required to and from railhead

(ii) Plenty of luggage space

(ii) Often slower than road

(iii) Can be made self-sufficient (fuel, food, water, etc.) over longer distances

Notes

1. Movement by rail rather than road may be the better solution where large numbers are repatriating to the same initial destination.

2. To avoid delays at the border, try and organize immigration, customs and health formalities either only at the final destination or by embarking officials who complete them during the journey.

AIR

Advantages

Disadvantages

(i) Swift, convenient and easily controlled

(i) High cost

(ii) Assembly and reception facilities are likely to exist
already

(ii) Secondary transport required to and
from airport

(iii) Optimum means for long distances and especially
for the sick, disabled and otherwise vulnerable

(iii) Limited luggage capacity

Notes

1. For any large scale repatriation, existing commercial flights will be insufficient (and more expensive than chartering). In general, the most economical aircraft on a medium or long haul is a full wide-bodied jet (i.e. jumbo or airbus type).

2. UNHCR has considerable experience in chartering aircraft for repatriation operations. The agreement is likely to be concluded from Geneva and advice should be sought from Headquarters (the Regional Bureau and Supply and Transport Section) regarding procedures and standards of safety.

3. In addition to practical matters such as runway length, consider requesting from the governments concerned:

- concession to use duty free fuel (check fuel availability);

-waivers of in-flight route charges, landing and parking fees;

- payment only for actual cost of handling charges rather than the fixed commercial fees.

BOAT

Advantages

Disadvantages

(i) Greater passenger and luggage capacity

(i) Secondary transport to or from port
required

(ii) Assembly and reception facilities already likely
to exist

(ii) Slow and costly

(iii) Comfortable

(iii) Sea sickness